Title: The Trip to Nowhere
Author: Stephanie Shaw
Publication Date: May 14, 2022
Genres: Paranormal, Mystery, Contemporary
Length: 59 pages
Source: I received a free copy from the author.
Rating: 3 Stars
A broken marriage,
A lost love,
And nothing to lose.
When his wife confesses that she’s pregnant for Cole’s business rival, the news throws him into a downward spiral. Unable to face his life, he decides to go on a road trip alone. In the process, he uncovers the truth about a missing woman, an unborn child and a shocking family secret. He realizes too late that sometimes the past needs to be left in the past.
Content Warning: Pregnancy and murder.
Save this one for the next time there’s a foggy day in your area.
The setting tickled my imagination. Foggy days can make the world feel a little softer and more magical in general, especially if you have a long, quiet drive ahead of you and plenty of time to think. The author captured this feeling beautifully, and I smiled as she found ways to incorporate those drives into her plot twists as well. Her imagination took Cole into some places that were as surprising for him as they were entertaining for me as a reader.
I struggled to understand Cole’s behaviour. He was given multiple hints about what was really happening as he drove down those foggy, isolated roads, and I shook my head every time he brushed yet another one aside and kept pushing on towards his goal. While I believe this may have been written to show how his faults had terribly distorted his thinking over the years, it would have been helpful to have this theory confirmed or denied. Leaving it the way it was written made it hard for me to connect to him because of how obtuse he seemed to be about some things that could have been easily straightened out in the first scene.
With that being said, I loved Ms. Shaw’s clean and crisp writing style. She did an excellent job of painting vivid pictures of her characters and the setting without slowing down the storyline or using a single word more than was necessary. This is a delicate and impressive balance to strike, especially in the short story format when the author also needs to juggle so many other elements of good storytelling simultaneously. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for what she comes up with next.
The Trip to Nowhere was an atmospheric read.